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Valero Said to Return Memphis Crude Units to Normal Rates

Valero Energy Corp. has returned the two crude units at its Memphis refinery to normal rates while other units remain at limited rates or on circulation, a person familiar with operations said.

The two crude units have a total capacity of about 180,000 barrels a day. A hydrotreater is also back to normal, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is not public. The 100,000-barrel-a-day fluid catalytic cracker is running at 42,000 barrels a day while repairs are being made on a sulfur recovery unit, the person said.

The refinery has been at lower rates since the sulfur unit was damaged during a power failure on Sept. 15 that shut the majority of the production units, the person said.

Bill Day, a spokesman for the company in San Antonio, did not immediate respond to an e-mail or voice mail seeking comment. Day said on Sept. 19 that all production units at Memphis were in operation, and declined to comment on rates.

A sulfur recovery unit captures and holds sulfur that is removed in the desulfurization process.

The plant, which can process 195,000 barrels a day of crude and other feedstocks, uses primarily light and sweet crude oil delivered by the Capline pipeline, according to Valero’s website. Capline runs from St. James, Louisiana, to Patoka, Illinois.

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